T-Minus 90 days until harvest & here’s our update in the field! Things are in full swing in our vineyards, flowering has just finished up & we now have set our fruit for the season. This time of year can be a bit of a nail-biter as we get one chance in the year for the flowers to pollinate and set fruit. Too much rain, too little rain, heavy winds, insects, etc… can all impact the crop that is set. We lucked out this year and had perfect conditions for a healthy crop, we received rain at the right times and the vineyards are flush with fruit. Now we just have to protect what we have.
Below you can see the stages of fruit development:
(a) Flowers with caps attached
(c) berries formed at fruit set
(d) berries after fruit set
We have been mad brewers lately! With every spray that we apply to the vineyard we are incorporating compost teas, compost tea is like a superfood for plants, especially for vineyards! It’s a magical elixir created by steeping compost in water to extract all its beneficial nutrients and microorganisms. Just think of it as a concentrated, nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer that helps your vines thrive.
We briefly mentioned compost tea before, but let’s dive into the benefits of using it in your vineyard. First and foremost, it’s all about the nutrients. Compost tea is loaded with essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are crucial for healthy plant growth. These nutrients are released slowly and are readily available to the roots, ensuring a steady supply of nourishment for your vines.
But that’s not all! Compost tea is also a haven for beneficial microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. These microscopic helpers play a vital role in maintaining soil health and promoting a balanced ecosystem in your vineyard. They assist in breaking down organic matter, improving soil structure, and enhancing nutrient availability. By using compost tea, you’re essentially introducing an army of beneficial microorganisms to support your vines’ well-being.
Another fantastic benefit of compost tea is its ability to suppress diseases. The microorganisms present in the tea form a protective barrier on the plants’ leaves and roots, making it more challenging for harmful pathogens to establish themselves. This natural defense mechanism can help prevent diseases from taking hold in your vineyard and reduce the need for chemical interventions.
Compost tea also enhances soil fertility and structure. It improves soil’s water-holding capacity, reducing water runoff and erosion. The organic matter in the tea helps increase soil’s ability to retain moisture, ensuring your vines have access to water during dry spells. Additionally, the microorganisms in the tea break down organic matter in the soil, improving its structure, aeration, and drainage. This, in turn, creates a healthier root environment for your vines to grow deep and strong.
Moreover, using compost tea in your vineyard promotes biodiversity. By introducing a diverse range of microorganisms, you encourage a thriving soil ecosystem, which supports the growth of beneficial insects and earthworms. These tiny allies help control pests, pollinate flowers, and further improve soil health, creating a harmonious environment for your vines.
Lastly, let’s not forget about sustainability. Compost tea is an environmentally friendly choice for vineyards. By utilizing compost, a byproduct of organic waste, and avoiding synthetic fertilizers, you’re reducing your environmental footprint and contributing to a healthier planet.
To some it all up, compost tea provides a plethora of benefits for your vineyard. It enriches the soil with essential nutrients, fosters a diverse and thriving soil ecosystem, enhances disease resistance, improves soil structure and water retention, and promotes sustainability. It’s like a secret weapon in your vine-growing arsenal, ensuring your grapes are happy, healthy, and ready to produce delicious wines!
Cheers to a productive summer, we invite you to come walk the vineyards and see what we have been hard at work stewarding! If you plan your visit on the weekend, you can start your day with a Modales Estate Tour!